The winter is pretty slow for us on the trial front. We're so thankful to have the opportunity to run at the Black Hills Stock Show. It's a great chance to get together with other dog people and catch up. It's also a really good venue to get working dogs in front of the public. There are a lot of spectators there who become genuinely interested in working dogs and how they can help their operations. It's a nice thing to see.
It's not a sanctioned trial and there is one class. It's a figure 8 pattern around two barrels, Y chute and then a pen. It's a timed trial and as such is very easy for the crowd to understand. I'm not a huge fan of timed trials but have to admit they are an adrenaline rush.
This was Dustin's first year to compete there. He and Kat have come so far together it's really great to see. I ran Kat until she was 3 years old and fully trained. Dustin helped with everything dog related for 6 months to prove to us he was serious about owning a dog. When he had done that, Kat became his dog. He still helps with anything related to the dogs.
It's really fun for me to see the bond and the partnership these two have together. It reminds me quite a bit of the team Zac and I have always been. She always did well for me but she never really gave her heart over to me. She has more than done that with Dustin. She will do anything for him.
So, back to the Stock Show. Dustin and Kat didn't advance past the preliminary round but their run was something to be proud of. When Dustin started running her he would pretty much "default" to her judgement on everything. He wasn't truly running her but letting her run it all. In the last year that has completely changed and he is now a partner with her but has stepped up to be the handler. It took her awhile to trust that he really knew what he was doing and give the "reins" back to him but she has now. His timing, judgement, stock sense and attitude have really come a LONG ways as well. I'm SO proud of him!!
I had a good time getting together with friends as well as running my dogs. Jag is fighting a really nasty infection right now and it was clearly obvious to me that he wasn't himself out there. I really shouldn't have run him. Zac had wisdom and experience on his side and did a great job. He's so much fun to run at these kind of events. He LOVES crowds and it really gets him pumped up. He's very level headed though and handles whatever is thrown at him. He made it through the first two rounds to end up 4th in the finals. Good job Zac!
Looking forward to next year.